Special to the Journal
College Savings Month Coloring Sweepstakes Will Provide $1,529 for Child’s Education
ATLANTA – For a child, coloring is a fun pastime that teaches skills and builds creativity. But for one lucky Georgia child, coloring could also be a way to help jumpstart a college savings plan.
With the goal of encouraging more families to put their children on the path to college, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal joined states across the nation to officially declare September as College Savings Month. In celebration of College Savings Month, the state is holding the fourth annual Hootie Coloring Sweepstakes intended to raise awareness of the importance of saving for college and making a financial commitment to children’s futures by saving today.
“For more than a decade we have been working to produce more college graduates in order to meet the demands of the workforce, raise per capita income and increase the quality of life for Georgia residents. By declaring September ‘College Savings Month,’ we hope to continue to raise awareness of the importance of financially preparing for college expenses,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “We are fortunate to have one of the best 529 plans in the nation, and this plan is helping us achieve our goals, while it helps children achieve their dreams.”
The College Savings Month coloring sweepstakes is open to Georgia children in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade, and to enter, children simply color Hootie the Wise Old Owl and answer the question, “When I graduate, I’m going to be a ____.” One winner will be randomly selected in early October, and that child will win $1,529 for his or her college savings. The child’s school will also be awarded $1,000.
“We hope that children will dream about what they want to be when they grow up, and that their families will start thinking about how they can help them realize these dreams,” said Mitch Seabaugh, executive director of the Path2College 529 Plan. “There is no better time than now to start saving for a child’s future college expenses—every penny saved today will help offset expenses tomorrow.”
Coloring sheets and official rules can be found at www.Path2College529.com on September 1. Entries must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian, post-marked by September 30, 2013, and received by October 4, 2013.
“Whether or not a child is the right age to participate in the coloring sweepstakes, we hope that parents and grandparents will take a moment during college savings month to review their college savings plans, make a contribution or begin saving,” said Seabaugh. “We want every child in Georgia to have the opportunity to achieve their goals, and preparing for the future today is the best way to establish that foundation.”
About the Path2College 529 Plan
Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan was designed to help families prepare for the future costs of college tuition and other qualified expenses, such as fees, books, and certain room and board costs for colleges in Georgia and nationwide. The plan has no sign-up, maintenance or third-party sales fees – just a low annual asset-based management fee. An account can be opened online with as little as $25.
Any earnings in the Path2College 529 Plan are federal and Georgia income tax-deferred and withdrawals for qualified higher education are federal and Georgia income tax free. In addition, the State of Georgia offers a state income tax deduction on contributions of up to $2,000 per year, per beneficiary. (Transfers from another 529 plan are not eligible for the deduction. Recapture provisions apply.)
The plan is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., which is part of the TIAA-CREF group of companies, and it offers seven investment options. The Path2College 529 Plan has more than $1.3 billion in assets under management and more than 112,000 accounts as of 8/9/13. Marketing for the Path2College 529 Plan is under the direction of the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), whose mission is to promote and increase access to education beyond high school for Georgians. Please visit www.gsfc.org or www.GAcollege411 for more information on GSFC and various resources to assist with planning, applying and paying for college.